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Why The Legislative Stall On SCSU Loan?
5/6/2015 4:51:29 PM

By Barney Blakeney

Have you ever needed to borrow some cash and asked a friend, or someone you thought was a friend, to lend you the money and the person kept putting you off? I’ve been there. It ain’t a good feeling. I think that’s how the folks at South Carolina State University must feel.

I remember being in this tight one time. I’d spent all my money - some on stuff I needed and some on stuff I didn’t need. Anyway, all my money was gone and I still had stuff I needed to do. Well, I went to this friend and asked for a loan till payday. Now me and this guy have been financially tied together all my life. We’ve broken bread together over the years. Because we have mutual interests, me and this guy shared financial responsibilities. But when I asked the guy for the loan, he wants to stag on me.

All the years we’ve been pitching money back and forth between us, now I gotta hear this sermon about how I should be more responsible. Heck, I know that. If I was more responsible, I wouldn’t be asking the guy for the loan. I was thinking later for all that, right now I need some cash because I’ve got some things to do. And it ain’t like I ain’t good for the loan. Still I’m getting lip from this guy. He’s telling me about my bad spending habits and how I oughta live within my budget and not spend more than I’m making. Finally, he says he won’t lend me the money until I get somebody to help me make decisions. I was thinking about that time the other day as I wrote a story about South Carolina State University’s request for financial aid from the South Carolina General Assembly. I know how university officials feel waiting on the general assembly to lend it some money to handle their business.

I asked some of our local legislators what the deal is about the loan to SCSU and I got more ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’ than I ever got as a kid in the school yard. Mind you, I went to Black state legislators because I figured the white boys were going to give me the run around. But all I got was run around anyway. Some of them jokers didn’t even respond. Now ya’ll, I ain’t the smartest whip on the ranch, but I can figure when somebody’s stringin’ me along. How is it that SCSU asked for money it needs to pay bills two years ago and still is waiting for the legislature to fork over the dough?

Them fools are about to wrap up this legislative session in a few weeks and they haven’t taken care of that business yet! I figure if a man is going to do something for me, he’ll go on and do it. Ain’t got to be no hold up, wait a minute. If you gon do it, do it and get it done. When a man holds up on me, I get the suspicion he don’t want to do it and likely may not. And like my so-called friend, the general assembly is putting stipulations on SCSU even before it gives up the cash.

Folks, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again because I believe it. Them boys and girls in the general assembly are playing games with us, our beloved institution and our money. We’ve been financial partners with the State of South Carolina all our lives. That ain’t their money their lending SCSU, it’s our money.

Some of those folks have been robbing us blind at that institution over 20 years. Some of them same fools telling us about financial irresponsibility at SCSU are the same ones who have been dipping their hands in the cookie jar over the years - cutting contract deals, funneling money through the budget and using their influence to post their friends and relatives in well paying positions. And now those fools are giving us some okey doke about creating a new oversight panel before they’ll give us our own money! We’re the fools.

It don’t take all this time to make no decision about who’s gonna run the crazy house. They’re playing us until they come up with another group who will look the other way as they stick their hands back into the cookie jar. Only next time, the cookie jar may be sitting on a shelf in the University of South Carolina’s kitchen. And our hankechief-head legislators are sitting up there letting the white boys get away with it. At least tell us the real skinny. Don’t just sit there and let them white boys just man handle us.

This SCSU fiasco should tell voters in South Carolina, Black and white, just what we all need to be thinking - throw the bums out. Our legislature appointed the members of SCSU’s board of trustees to office. If those people are so inept, how did that happen? Should we trust people who make such gross mistakes to correct them? Me, I don’t trust a man who stalls on me when I ask him to do something.

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